Settler’s Beans

This is a great recipe for a family dinner or a potluck.  I especially love that everything can be made a day or so ahead and then re-heated on the stove or in a crock pot.  This recipe came from my sister, Jan.  She has been my cooking mentor for most of my adult life.  These beans have the perfect combination of bacon, onion, and sweetness from the sugars & molasses.  If you don’t have the exact kind of beans like the recipe, it’s fine.  I always try to use three beans that are different in color, like a white, a dark red, and a lighter red or brown variety.  For example, if you don’t have butter beans, you can use great Northern beans.  If you don’t have kidney beans, you can use pinto.  Pretty much anything goes!   My pot is usually empty when I come home from a potluck and someone is asking for the recipe!


Settler’s Beans


  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup barbeque sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 can pork & beans



Brown the beef, bacon, and onion together.  Drain.  Mix all the other ingredients together with the meat.

Bake at 350 °F until heated through.


  1. Marcia Lunsford says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!! This is my grandmothers calico beans recipe. This has been a favorite of our family for years. My husband wants it at least monthly. I also take it to potlucks a lot and never bring home an empty dish. Inexpensive and wonderful. The only difference is my grandmother did not use molasses or chili powder. She used half cup of the white and brown sugars and she added 2T white vinegar. I usually add an extra can of pork and beans as I usually need to stretch it a bit. Just started following your blog and love it! Keep up the good work.

    • Kim says:

      I’m so glad you wrote me! I’m very happy to know that you like the blog and recipes I’m making. I actually like the name “Calico” beans better than “Settler’s” beans. They really do look calico with the different colors of beans. Thanks for the feedback!

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